Travel cover is a must, even for a 'staycation'

Holidaying in the UK can save money, but be careful not to scrimp on insurance

The 12 million Britons hoping to cut costs by holidaying at home this summer could find themselves out of pocket if they haven't taken out the right travel cover, insurers warned last week.

With the economy still lagging and the pound struggling, many of us are sacrificing a holiday overseas, to save money. But those opting for a "staycation" face the same risks as they would abroad. A domestic flight, say, can be as easily cancelled or delayed as an international flight, and UK holidaymakers are similarly vulnerable to theft or damage to belongings.

"Many Brits may not even consider taking out travel insurance. However, it may be worth considering, especially if they are flying within the UK or taking expensive possessions with them," says Maxine Baker, the manager of travel insurance at Moneysupermarket.com.

Two in five Britons say they are taking their main holiday in the UK this year because of financial concerns, according to insurers Liverpool Victoria. "It's not surprising that holidaymakers are thinking twice about spending their hard-earned wages on expensive overseas holidays. However, UK holidaymakers should remember that travel insurance is still important," says John O'Roarke, the managing director of LV's travel insurance.

According to claims data from insurer AXA, cancellation, baggage and curtailment (cutting a holiday short) are the most common claims made on domestic holidays. Cancellation accounts for half of all AXA's claims, with the average amount claimed being £396. Damage to baggage is next in line with claims averaging at £183, while curtailment claims come in at £339.

But there could be other issues. Anyone travelling to the Channel Islands, for example, will not be covered for medical treatment by their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) or the NHS, so falling ill could be costly without medical cover. There could also be the cost of getting home. AXA warns that while medical treatment will be covered by the NHS in the UK, actually getting home will come out of your own pocket if you haven't declared medical conditions to your insurer.

Those taking a caravanning break should ensure they get proper caravan cover as well as car insurance and travel cover, advises Alison Patrick, the head of travel at AXA. "Travel policies will not cover you for damage or theft of the caravan, but will cover you for possessions in the vehicle," she says.

There is also the worry that your holiday firm, like 50 others in the past 12 months, will go bust, according to AA Travel Insurance. Package holidays should be covered by Atol, but the many holidaymakers who prefer to book flights and hotels separately are vulnerable without comprehensive cover. To compensate for the increased danger, AA's travel insurance automatically includes protection against the insolvency of any travel or accommodation supplier, up to £5,000 per person.

"Many travellers believe they are fully protected through their insurance, credit card or travel compensation schemes. But cover is often incomplete and patchy," says Christian Young, the chief executive of AA Travel Insurance.

Despite the pitfalls, almost half of those questioned in a recent survey by comparison site Moneysupermarket.com revealed they would not insure themselves for a holiday in Britain. But insurance for UK breaks is, in the main, reasonably priced. A single-trip policy with OUL Direct costs just £10.29 for a family of four for one week and includes £1,500 cover for baggage, £3,000 for cancellation and £5m for medical expenses. Annual policies can be taken out for around £30, again for a family of four, which will usually work out cheaper if you plan to make more than two trips per year. TopDog offers its Emerald Annual Multi-Trip policy for £32.80 and covers for loss of baggage up to £1,000, cancellation of holiday up to £750 and medical expenses up to £10m.

There are several ways to reduce costs on travel insurance for home and abroad. First, check existing annual policies, as many include UK cover. Conditions vary, so check the fine print for inclusions and exclusions. Campers, say, might have to inform their insurers in advance as their policies will need to reflect the increased risk to possessions. It may be worth taking out specialist insurance. E&L offers standalone cover from £16 per year and covers camping equipment valued up to £10,000.

Holidaymakers should also check their home insurance policies as they may cover belongings outside the home, and premium current account holders who pay a monthly fee may find they have travel insurance as a benefit. Again, check the terms. When buying a policy, it is almost always cheaper to buy directly from the insurer rather than from a tour operator or travel agent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: PR, Marketing & Events Executive - Southwark, London - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: PR Marketing & Events Exe...

    Selby Jennings: C++ Developer – Hedge Fund – New York

    $80000 - $110000 per annum, Benefits: Bonus and Employee Investment Scheme: Se...

    Selby Jennings: Java Developer Enterprise Specialist –Paris,France

    €30000 - €50000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus: Selby Jennings: Java D...

    Selby Jennings: QA Engineer Lead – Hedge Fund – Chicago

    $60000 - $90000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus and Employee Investment ...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible